tv [untitled] October 22, 2012 4:30am-5:00am PDT
used. what did the project sponsor do in terms of trying it work with neighbors? the proposed project has a one hour roof so it has no parapets, that was done to lowers building. the floor to ceiling height is lower, they are under 9 feet from ceiling to floor. he lowered the building to that extent. and the front set back, this major 10-foot set back in the front which again gives the appearance and reflects the scale of the street, the cornice line, the roof lane with the two neighbors are represented and actually eye level for this shot is around here. if you are at street level, the sight level would probably make this not visible at all. i would like it show you a
building across the street, this is across the street from the project site to give you a sense of scale of other buildings, you can see here there's a 3 story victorian over a garage, so 4 stories, substantially higher than 40 feet. here is another with 3 stories over a garage. the scale varies and we feel this is an appropriate project for this location. san francisco needs family housing, these are going to be two 3-bedroom units and with all respect, commissioners, mraes approve this project because it meets city policies and it's a good project. thank you very much. >> thank you. that last picture that you put up, is that directly across the street? >> correct. >> thank you. >> i'm done, thank you.
>> i'm sorry, you'll have time to rebut later. mr. sanchez, you are up next if you'd like to speak. >> thank you, scott sanchez, representing the planning department and the planning commission. the subject property on sanchez feet located with an rh3 zoning district so allowing 3 dwellings on a lot and has a 40 feet height limit. the building was indeed permitted in 2005. the neighborhood notification was filed in 2006, there was one discretionary review filed at that time. subsequent to that filing apparently the department decided additional environmental evaluation was needed so in july of 2007, an
environmental application was filed to allow them to be through the historic resource evaluation report and they completed that report in december of 2007, finding that it was not a historic resource. and to explain the category issues, category a is a known historic resource, category b is a potential resource, additional research is required, category c is not a historic resource. given the age of the building it was a category b necessitating additional research. that additional research was performed in the hrer and found it was not a resource so it has been recategorized to category c, not a historic resource. the environmental review was issued in 2008 and the planning review heard the matter in 2008. they failed to pass a motion on the discussionary review, the vote was split 3-3,
one of the commissioners was absent. when you have a failure to pass a motion unless it's moved to a later date, the permit was not actually worked on. there was an attempt to cancel the permit. at that point it was reinvigorated by the project sponsor who did complete the review of the permit and it was subsequently issued in august of this year and appealed to this board. so the issues that have been raised, first the historic resource, the historic resource evaluation was performed in december of 2007, finding that it is not a resource under ceqa, the california environmental quality act. i reviewed the matter again today with kim fry, the preservation coordinator for the department.
he reiterated that would be a correct finding so the department stands behind that finding. we have two issues, one is the demolition, we had planning code second 317 which i blaefrb would have been in effect at the time this was reviewed at the planning commission and you can opt out but you can be exempted if you meet certain standards so i think at the time they met the standard of the fee, the price of the house, so the --. >> the what? >> the price of the home. if it's greater than, i think now it's to 1.3 million, but if the value is deemed to be greater than 1.3 million, you are experiment from the 317 review. otherwise you would need to go through a hearing for the demolition, the dr, at the planning commission or if you can prove that it's unsoupld. they didn't prove that it was an unsound building. this was reviewed on the criteria about the cost of the building.
so then we good on -- go on to the new construction, the planning department did find that it complied with the guidelines, their lack of decision confirmed it met the residential design guidelines. i think in looking at the proposed new design, some of the features we would look at and deem it to be compatible would be the bay windows is within character of other buildings in the vicinity. the siding proposed is within the character of the neighborhood. they are maintaining the entry way in a similar pattern to what is there currently for the building. probably most importantly, though, the building is quite large, i think it is maxing out the envelope that wae would permit under the residential design guidelines. they have set back the proposed fourth floor, i believe it's 13 1/2 feet from
the front property line. it's 10 feet back from the front building wall which is set back itself a couple of feet from the front property line. with that, it would meet the residential design guidelines standards. available for any questions the board may have on this item, thank you. >> thank you. anything from dbi no? okay, then we'll take public comment. are there any member s of the public who with like to speak? okay, please step forward. >> may i see a show of hands how many people wish to speak? >> three minutes. >> if you haven't already filled out a speaker card, if you can bring it to mr. pacheco when you come up or after you speak that would be helpful. >> my name is george knipful
and i live at 118 hancock, which is right around the corner of this proposed structure. i have a picture of the proposed structure from my rear bedroom window. whereas i'm in agreement with my neighbors about the architectural integrity of our neighborhood being preserved and this new structure being a monstrousity i'm also talking about a very personal thing and that's the diminishment of light from my bedroom. currently this is the view i would have. this is the existing structure. you can just apply common sense when you realize that's going to be replaced by this structure. that's really all i have to say. i just want a review about how it's going to obstruct late to existing homes around the area. thank you. >> thank you. next speaker, please. in other people who are planning it speak could maybe line up over there, it would help in moving the
meeting along. >> good evening, thank you for giving me this opportunity to speak. my name is karen mandell, i'm a fourth generation san franciscan who has lived on hancock lived and is part of the hancock association. i've lived there for 35 years. i care deeply about the city and particularry historic neighborhoods like the castro. to my mind 530 sanchez really should be taken down. it's rat-infested, it's dilapidated, it's a real eye sore. and i also understand the need for new construction in the castro. but i want buildings that maintain the design integrity of the existing neighborhood. the castro does have a design context. now, granted, it is eclectic, it's victorian, it's edwardian, it's marina style and then we have the anomalies
that have been allowed to be built over the years and you saw a picture of one of those on hancock street across from us that mr. stewart showed you. so, yes, the precedent has been set for buildings that bear no design relationship to the historic context of the neighborhood. but that's no reason to continue allowing them to be built without some kind of compromise. this proposal is another anomaly. there is no architectural dialogue between this construction and the existing buildings on sanchez street. yes, it is the same height as the buildings across the street but those buildings are classic victorians that have helped create the historic flare in our neighborhood. we are not sunset, we are not twin peaks. the architecture in
those areas is already a patchwork of conflicting designs with no historic context like the castro. so the proposal as it stands is a mediocre design that insults the historic nature of our neighborhood. i don't think it's unreasonable to request design modifications in terms of height and design features so that this structure adds to and doesn't diminish our neighborhood's architectural uniqueness. the question is are you going to help preserve our neighborhood's historic significance or are you going to continue to allow the building of structures that degrade the design aesthetic that has made our properties more valuable and desirable, not to mention adding to the much-appreciated and applauding design aesthetic of the city of san francisco. thank you for your consideration. >> thank you. next speaker,
please. >> so i'm going to use my neighbors, i had to do a drawing by hand here. my name is lance karns, i own the building at 520 sanchez, which is, this is the subject property here, this little guy, this is the subject property. i have the building just down the street. i guess you know the three points i wanted to make, i oppose the demolition of 530 and, no. 2, i don't think it fits in with the neighborhood.
it's not part of our block. it's a very different size building and i'm worried that the successful completion of this project will set a dangerous precedent. in other words, people will speculate on our block, buy up little houses and put up monstrousities. back to the demolition, i just wanted to say a few things about that. the subject property was built within a couple years of my building, which is 1905, i believe. i go in the basement of that building, it has very simple wood frame architecture on a foundation. it's been there for a hundred years, it's survived loma prieta, it survived the 1906 earthquake. storms, i don't see why it wouldn't survive another hundred years. i believe the subject property is the same
building construction and i was told that the current owner of that property is in the termite inspection and foundation repair business and i don't understand why he let his building languish for 7 years and deteriorate if that's in fact what's happened. so i think the building should be restored and kept as is. the proposed structure, let's see if i can get this above the closed caption here so you can see it, this is the existing so the building is taken off a photograph from google earth here. oh, i got 30 seconds to go here. but this is the subject property. this is the proposed thing and i'm now told that the height is even higher than it's shown on the artists a kupb sepltion here. so you can see from a direct shot that this
thing is enormous. the square footage on the property was expanded from 1,083 to 1413, which doesn't sound like much, but the actual enclosed volume of living space has gone up by 2 1/2 times. so we now have a, if this is completed, we will have a huge elephant on our block that doesn't fit in with the existing structures. >> thank you. >> thanks so much for staying so late, listening to all this repartee >> next speaker. >> good evening, commissioners, my name is mel murphy, i'm with a group in san francisco called san francisco coalition for responsible growth. and i'm here to speak for brendan, who is a member of our group. you have to excuse me, i got allergies and i'm not seeing very well tonight so i
have a couple little notes here. i've lived in san francisco for 40 years, pretty much in that neighborhood, the noe valley area, and i just want to make a few points here. i was in support of the project when it came before planning some years ago and since none of the details of the proposed project has changed, i still support it today. the following will briefly summarize where i blaefrb you should follow the lead of your associates at the planning department and approve this project immediately. one, the height of the proposed building has been reduced by using a one-hour roof assembly, which eliminates the 42-inch parapet.
2, by my understanding of the planning code, this building could have a larger standpoint in both horizontal and vert tal directions. yet the sponsor chose to keep the 2 smaller -- smaller of the two. it incorporates a matching light well for the neighbor at 538 sanchez street. 5, the project is fully compliant with residential building guidelines and the planning department recommends taking no discretionary review. i could go on, commissioners, with additional points such as the need for more housing, jobs, et cetera. you know, it's near public
transportation. i think i'll just leave it at that. please sfoert this project and i want to thank you, commissioners, for your service. thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you, is there any other public comment? >> good evening, commissioners, my name is seamus collins and i am a member of the san francisco coalition for responsible growth. it's a small business organization here in san francisco. you know, i'm a family man, a busy man in san francisco. my life line is these small projects. this is what we rely on it. all my friends, we all work in construction, we all work in construction. right now this building is a lighted buildings in san francisco and for the shortage that we have in this city, it is a traf ji of justice that it
had been left and polished for so long. we're gone through a really bad recession again and it's time for the commissioners to really laiz we need these projects, we need to build these projects. i would hope the commissioners would uphold these projects. thank you. >> thank you. >> good evening, commissioners, luke o'brien, vice president of small business commission and also speaking to you as a member of the coalition for responsible growth. i hope you like what you see in looking at me, commissioners, because recently i became historically significant in san francisco, being 50-plus years of age. so i'm very serious in know if i took a sample of san francisco who might find me interesting from a historical perspective with period details on my xeer owe and hoo i might go ahead
and disclose something new. the story is not black and white, it's not easily solved, many efforts are made and many discussions have been had as to what would constitute historical significance and not. i have to trust the planning department to make those judgments through their residential design guidelines. sometimes i like the decision that they make, sometimes i don't like the decision that they make. if we make a habit of reviewing every single case that nobody decides to bring back to the board of appeals i think historically that is not a good precedent for everybody. the project went through all the scrutiny on the previous occasion, was deemed to be compliant. i think this
project sponsorship be allowed to go ahead. some of the other points i was going to mention have already been mention,, so i don't want to belabor you any more other than as a person who has a presence in the small business community i always find it offensive when people refer to business entrepreneurs as greedy speculators. i think even in the heart and soul of this time with its history of liberalism and history of every other imaginive political identity you can think of that it's befitting of san franciscoans to speak of other san franciscoans in his terms. there's a gentleman working to feed his family, he's not a greedy big speculator and i don't think we should be
letting people make references like that. thank you very much, i'll leave it at that. >> any other public comment? seeing none, we will start rebuttal and we will start with the appellant. mr. schnider. you have six minutes of rebuttal. >> actually, i think the board has quite a clear picture of the situation so i would respect the board's time and i yield to dennis. >> thank you. mr. stewart, do you have any rebuttal? >> thank you, members of the board. i have several brief statements in rebuttal to what you heard from the project sponsor. first of all, yes, there was a series of public hearings, they made a good faith gesture, we had a nice little meeting up at diamond heights. but let the record show that excess for access to the light wells there was no modification of any of the basic height or design
issues recommended by the neighbors. so there was an opportunity and that's the opportunity that i'm urging the board to suggest again of reconciliation here that they took no opportunity to do that. that's a matter of public record. secondly, all this issue about delays in the construction and the house going dilapidated, that's really the responsibility of the person who put forth the permit because he got an approved permit and he neglected for whatever reason, and i don't particularly care, since 2008 to do nothing with the property. so, yes, we have a house that's in disrepair. that's a statement of fact, it should not be used for justification for tearing down the building. it's interesting to note if you listen to the various members of the public here that all those opposed to this are
immediate neighbors who have a vested interest in the neighborhood. everyone opposed to this has no connection to the neighborhood so they have a particular business interest in this, which is fine and it's appropriate, but as you are weighing what you are going to do to the neighborhood, you need to understand what the balance is between those people who live in the neighborhood, and you've heard them all, versus those people who are business owners from outside the neighborhood. there's not been one single neighbor that's come before you tonight that is supporting this project. interesting conclusion. with regard to the housing shortage, that is really a superficial argument because prior to the appeal of the permit, there were two residents living in the subject building. now what you've done, or what the board is on the verge of maybe doing, is creating two
additional units. so there's going to be two units where there were two units. what we're talking about here is a conversion over the long-term from two low income housing units to two luxury condo units. you can guarantee you know the neighborhood, we're having two, two-unit buildings and i can almost guarantee you that, knowing the real estate business, that each one of you put on the building for a million, a million five. don't give me the argument we're trying to have low income housing, what we're doing is replacing low income housing with high income housing. finally the issue here is the residential design code has a lot of judgment issues in it. i quoted to you a lot of issues. it's not so much whether it's 15 feet or 14 feet
or this, it allows a lot of discretion. the photos i showed to you, if this is what you want to approve, if that's what you want to approve because it may be technically within the design code, which i disagree with because of the judgmental characters, then what you are doing is making a vote for the way in which we are going to change the housing composition? san francisco. you can probably say, okay, well it's technically correct and it meets all the space requirements, but is that what this board wants to support as the kind of buildings it is using to replace more compatible buildings that all the neighbors in the area oppose. that's why i offered the board and i offer the board again the option of not choosing either/or but requiring that there be a mediation in which we would come to some accommodation as
to the design and the height limits of this building that would meet the interests of all of the parties. so i ask you to vote in favor of that proposition. thank you. >> mr. stewart, before you sit down, i have a question or two. >> sorry. >> if it's more appropriate then mr. bleacher could answer these. i understand there was a community boards process previously. were you part of that? >> yes, i was. that was held in diamond heights in 2008. >> at any time were specific proposals put forward by the neighbors with respect to the height. >> yes. we did not have an architectural plan. we sat down with the architect at that time, said we would like to
negotiate the height of the building so it could be along, a similar flow pattern from the street and we could modify the exterior facade to be more in context with the neighborhood and keep basically 90 percent of what they wanted to do. they declined to make any modifications except for an indentation for a light well in order to get the neighbors not to participate in an appeal. >> so you just brought forward concepts without specifics. >> well, they did not wish to negotiate. we said let's sit down and we'll talk about specifics. >> and they said no? >> that's correct. so we offer that as another solution --. >> that was my question, thank you. >> thank you, mr. blodget, we have rebuttal from you now. >> thank you, commissioners, i'd like to pick up with the questions you just started.
the project has been revised. the project a stair, a penalty house and a roof. it had a parapet, it was higher. it didn't have a light well. when you put a light well in, you lose square footage. the penthouse was taken off, the one hour roof was put on, the floor to floor height was reduced, it's less than 9 feet floor to ceiling in the building. you'd like to have 9 feet so it was lowered to the extent possible. confusions were made. i would like to read from the project analysis from the planning department, just one paragraph, short paragraph. the requestor suggests that the design of the new building is not compatible with the design of the older buildings in the neighborhood. the proposed massing of the new building is well articulated in relation to